On Sunday 12-14-14 New Bethel COGIC along with thousands of other churches and houses of worship all across America, participated further in the national movement to facilitate change for countless families calling for a revamping of the criminal justice system and community policing.
The critic asserts that Blacks have run-ins with the law and are in jail because they commit more crimes, but nearly every study done on the issues creates totally different picture than those that appear in the news. Not only is a Black man more likely to die at the hands of police or a law enforcement official, (as of this writing there have been 5 high profile Black homicides at the hands of the police in 5 months) but once sentenced, Blacks are more likely to receive a higher and more lengthy sentence than their White counterparts. Blacks are also more likely to be engaged and stopped by the police during the normal course of life and living based on "suspicious" activity.
The fact is that both Blacks and Whites commit crimes at similar rates, nearly 6.4%. Yet the prison population explodes with Black persons and persons of color at disproportionately high rates. Combine that with the seeming reversal of 4th Amendment rights and high unemployment and poverty rates within the Black community, then there is no wonder why we have a dangerous combination of frustration and unrest, which leads to a strained relationship between the police and the community.
Below is a 7 point agenda developed by myself, that a group of associates and I will be promoting along with other items and issues in the coming days and on into the new year. We believe that these issues are fundamental to the process of change which must occur in our city, Peoria, and is inclusive of everyone in the community and not just the poor and minority. In our opinion, these issues have an importance for citizens on Grandview Drive as equally as they have importance for citizens living on Howett St. You'll be hearing more about these agenda items in coming days and we will add to them as citizens speak up and out on the issues.